Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hawaiian in Brooklyn

It's not every day that one sees the Hawaiian language tattooed on a Brookylnite, so I was stunned to see the following tattoo wrapped around the arm of a woman in Foodtown earlier this week:

The tattoo reads, in Hawaiian, "e ola aui ke Akua". I'm not fluent, but I know the Hawaiian language when I see it. I had to speak to this person and find out what possessed this person to inscribe these words on their flesh.

The tattoo is a tribute to her Hawaiian heritage. Her paternal grandfather is Hawaiian, her father was half-Hawaiian, or one hapa-Haole, as we would say it in the islands. She is therefore a quarter Hawaiian, by birth, and despite being a Brooklynite, feels connected just the same.

"Uh," I asked, "Can you tell me what that means?"

She believes it to loosely mean "May God grant me Life".

This was inked at Funcity Tattoo in the East Village.

Thanks for letting me take your tattoo's picture. I lost your e-mail address, however. Please shoot me an e-mail if you're reading this....I have some additional questions for you.

UPDATE: My friend Cat in Hawai'i says:

"E ola au i ke Akua" means "I live in the Lord" or "I live because of the Lord". There's some flexibility in translation, but that's the gist, I think. It's OK, although the "aui" should be split into "au i".


Anonymous said...

thats one of the best tatoos i've ever seen

Anonymous said...

i love it
it has meaning to her and all around has a meaning. those are some of the best tattoos

. said...

Aloha! I totally agree! E=is like your going to do somethig..sort of like a command. ola=means life or live(ola nei=living/ola 'ana=going to live/ke ola=the life). au=means me/or I/i'm. i=means in/or towards something. ke=means the. Akua=meas /God or Lord. E ola au i ke Akua=I live in the Lord. The "aui" needs a space "au i". And if she wanted god grant me life, she should have asked someone with more knowledge of the Hawaiian language! E ke Akua, i ola na'u= this is a version of the meaning she wanted it means "May I have life God". or E ke Akua, e ha'awi mai ia'u i ke ola!!!!!=Lord grant/give me life!!!!!! ~THANK YOU SISTER YOU COULD HAVE EMAILED SOMEONE! NOW YOUR KINDA STUCK WITH THAT!~YOUR WELCOME ;) (from the Hawaiian in ANAHOLA KAUA'I Stephanie Ku'uleialohanani Kuhaulua Jaramillo. Yes I have a spanish last name! Kuhaulua is my maiden name/Married Jaresen Jaramillo! Aloha =)